What shall we cook for dinner for the guests?

In this dialogue, Mrs. Ferencné Storno Jr, Mrs. Anna and her housekeeper Mrs. Brunner discuss what they should cook for a friendly couple, the Zettles, for dinner.

Let’s take a look at the scene in the dining room, which shows what we cooked on December 22nd!

(The family are having breakfast. Mrs. Storno is serving tea, Ferenc Soproni is reading the paper. The maid brings a letter to Anna.)

ANNA: Ferenc, put the diary down! Mr. Zettl and his wife sent a note that they would visit us tonight to celebrate the holidays.

FERENC: That's good news, since we've been waiting for their call for a long time now. My father will be sorry he wasn't home.

ANNA: What are you planning for today, Ferenc?

FERENC: I am working in the studio on the altar design of the Chapel in Fertőfehéregyháza.

ANNA (to the kids): Drink the tea nicely, Miksa, don't slurp! (Turns back to Ferenc) Are you coming home for lunch?

FERENC: No, just send it to me with Teréz! I'll be back in the afternoon.

ANNA: Gusztáv and Irma will definitely stay for dinner. I'll discuss the menu with Mrs Brunner.

FERENC: Please do, Anna, and let the Zettles know that we are looking forward to seeing them. Also check how the children are doing with their studies.

(The children look at each other sadly. Meanwhile, Ferenc stands up, the maid brings an overcoat, a hat, and a walking stick.)

FERENC: I'll be back for the afternoon tea, Anna, God bless you.

ANNA: God bless you! I'll send you the lunch.

(Ferenc leaves.)

ANNA (turning to the children): Now go, you can play until Teacher Miklós arrives.

(The children cheerfully head towards the Brown Room.)

ANNA: Mrs Brunner! Come in!

Mrs. BRUNNER (entering): Yes, madam?

ANNA: Bring my mother-in-law's kochbuch! We are expecting guests for dinner.

MRS BRUNNER: Who’s coming, madam?

ANNA: Mr. Zettl and his dear wife, Mrs. Irma.

MRS BRUNNER: Are the children coming too?

ANNA: They weren’t mentioned in their letter, so I suppose not.

MRS BRUNNER: Then we don't have to cook for the little ones. What do you think, madam, we should offer the guests?

ANNA: Since it’s a friendly event, we don’t need several bowls of every dish, but I don’t want to be ashamed in front of our beloved friends either.

MRS BRUNNER: I saw somewhere, madam, in this book, a grilled recipe made with vinegar sauce. We could prepare this for Mr Zettl. We even have some of his good vinegar in the pantry ...

ANNA: That's a great idea, Mrs. Brunner! It occurred to me that Irma is very fond of our Czech soup, especially with bacon dumplings. Let’s have that for soup!

MRS BRUNNER: And what should be the dessert at the end of dinner? Shall we serve a light little French cream?

ANNA: No, no. I have the instructions for a very tasty cake, the Carmelite Cake, among my own handwritten recipes. I'll prepare it myself. Tell the chef not to worry about dessert!

MRS BRUNNER: Rest assured, madam! I will ensure we should not be ashamed in front of the Zettls!

(Anna leaves.)

Text: Katalin Kuslics


Gusztáv Zettl, the guest, had a vinegar and liqueur factory in Sopron, and he also collected art. As a good childhood friend of Ferenc Storno Jr., they often visited each other. The Zettl-Langer Collection is still owned by their descendants and can be visited at 11 Balfi Street.

Sources: Soproni Múzeum, http://www.stornokonyha.hu/